Looking for big cats in the beautiful Lowveld.
We flew into the Hoedspruit airport on a small plane. Below us the land was orange and dry, speckled with trees but significantly absent of summer grass. The airport is a tiny brick building, not really an airpot at all. The lack of boarding gates, luggage carousels and burly officials make it more of a welcome party, which is the best way to start a holiday (even if it's just for the weekend). An hour away we stepped into our lodging for a quick lunch and then excitedly climbed into the Landie for a weekend of incredible leopard and lion sightings, among other incredible blessings of the bushveld.
The Timbavati lies west of the Kruger National Park, roughly north of Orpen gate covering an enormous area of 54 000 hectares. There is no fence between these parks and animals roam freely across the invisible divide. The reserve is famous because white lions were first seen here in the 1970s and although we weren't lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these snowy-looking felines there was plenty to keep our eyes peeled for. Here are a few of my favourite wildlife snaps from the top of the safari truck.